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Bankruptcy FAQ Conroe and Surrounding Areas

WILL I LOSE ALL MY PROPERTY IF I FILE BANKRUPTCY?

The Answer to this question is "NO." Whether you file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13, certain property is considered Exempt under the Texas Property Code, Texas Constitution, and/or the Federal Code. In Texas, unlike many states, an individual may choose from the State Exemptions or the Federal Exemptions. Under the State Exemptions, an individual may keep her house, car, household furnishings, and personal effects to a certain extent. Your 401K and most other retirement accounts are also exempt. The Federal Exemptions contain limits that you can claim on individual assets, as well as, a "wild card" exemption that can be used on any property that would not otherwise be exempt. I will be happy to discuss the limits of these exemptions as they would apply to you in a consultation.

 

DO I HAVE TO LIST ALL MY DEBTS?

Yes, you must list all companies or individuals to whom you owe money. Your creditors are entitled to Notice that you have filed for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. You may reaffirm debt that has been listed in your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which means you have agreed to continue making payments in accordance with your original contract with the Creditor even though you have filed for bankruptcy relief. However, in a Chapter 7, you will not be permitted to reaffirm a debt that causes a financial burden on you without permission from the Court. Most people only reaffirm debt associated with their Home, Car, or Furnishings.

 

DOES MY SPOUSE HAVE TO FILE WITH ME?

Nothing in the Bankruptcy Code requires both spouses to file a bankruptcy together. You may still have to provide information to your attorney regarding the assets you own jointly, the bills each of you pay, and the income generated by both spouses.

 

WILL I QUALIFY FOR A CHAPTER 7?

On October 17, 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 became law. This law included substantial changes to the Bankruptcy Code, including requiring individuals to qualify for Chapter 7 by passing a "Means Test." The "Means Test" is a 3-part test to determine whether an individual can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or must file another Chapter. The first prong of the test looks to see if the individual's income for the past 6 months was below the "Median Income" for her household size in her area. If your income is lower than the "Median Income," you may file a Chapter 7. If your income is higher than the Median Income, you must look to the second prong. The second prong of the test looks to see if the individual has less than a certain amount of income left after allowed expenses. If so, you can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If not, you must go to the third prong. Finally, the third prong looks to see if you can pay at least a certain percentage of your debt with the remaining income. If you cannot pay that percentage, you may qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Median Income changes constantly, and the calculations are complex. I will be happy to look at your income and expenses during a consultation to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7. The changes to the Bankruptcy Code make it more difficult to qualify to file Chapter 7, but many Debtors still qualify for Chapter 7.

 

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO FILE BANKRUPTCY?

No, there is no requirement that you be represented by an attorney to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. However, remember the old adage "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." If your case is dismissed and you have to refile within the same year, you lose certain protections under the Bankruptcy Code unless they are reinstated by the Court in the second filing. The Judge, Trustee, and Clerks at the Courthouse do not represent you and are not there to give you assistance in filing for protection under the Bankruptcy Code. In most cases, if you don't get the proper paperwork filed by the appropriate date, your case will be dismissed.

 

DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH CREDIT COUNSELING PRIOR TO FILING BANKRUPTCY?

Yes, one of the changes to the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individuals, who want to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code, must attend a Credit Counseling Course and obtain a Certificate of Completion prior to filing Bankruptcy. The Credit Counseling Course is available from approved Credit Counseling Companies in person, over the telephone, and over the Internet and can usually be completed the same day you decide to file. Some companies are even accessible for the Course 24-hours a day.

 

Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

In a state like Texas, you have a number of Conroe attorneys who practice bankruptcy to choose from – that's why you need an attorney that stands out from the crowd. In Conroe we are one of a few who solely focuses on bankruptcy law. We are confident in our ability to help you. With a qualified, skilled and understanding attorney, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands. Contact a Conroe bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation today.

 

 

To talk to an affordable & experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer, Call us now

Contact Us

Law Office of Rick J Deal
409 N Loop 336 W, Suite 4
Conroe, TX, 77301

 

Phone:(936) 499-5780